Spun: Sunset Rubdown

By Amanda Hu

Sunset Rubdown’s accomplishments thus far are not surprising considering the talent behind the band’s creations. An often mislabeled “side-project” from Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, Frog Eyes, etc., the band actually predates Krug’s more well-known projects and has-to a certain extent-influenced their success. With their third full-length release, Random Spirit Lover, they bring a fresh and enjoyable melding of experimental indie, fantasy whimsy and some eerie moments that still has their signature endearing recorded-in-a-garage elements.

The album’s opening, “The Mending of the Gown” sets the stage for a plucky, low-fi sound, driven with raspy guitar and pounding piano keys. Krug’s emotionally electric voice pushes the track further, spitting out so many lyrics that it makes one wonder where he stops to take a breath. In “The Courtesan Has Sung,” the band skillfully layers lyrics on top of one another in a scattered style. This complex myriad of sounds builds until all the sounds explode into a bout of “ooh”s moving in contrary motion to the instrumental parts and then melts into an ambient end with piano and tambourine perforating the smooth, acoustic surface.

Another completely pleasurable track can be found in “Stallion,” which begins with minor piano. A pause hits and then the song kicks into a melancholy waltz that culminates in repetitious yet powerful chords and riffs that seem to come at the listener from all sides.

Random Spirit Lover is a thoroughly amazing offering and more proof of Krug’s golden touch in the Canadian music world.

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